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Are you ready for the Apocalypse?

Some of you may be wondering when my new Cross novel, The Apocalypse Ark, will be released. Just keep an eye on the weather. As soon as it rains for seven days straight and the streets start flooding, then open your window and shout “Release the Ark!” in your best “Release the kraken!” voice.

Or you could just wait a few weeks.

The Apocalypse Ark was originally due to be published in January but it got pushed back a bit during the editing process. No one at the publishing house liked those chapters I wrote from the fish’s point of view, so I had to go back and rewrite everything. Sheesh. No, in all seriousness, it was just life with two young sons and a day job (boooooo!) meant it took me a little longer to get through the revisions than I initially thought. Also, I kept endlessly revising, until my editor threatened to harpoon me and mount my skull over the transom as a warning to other writers.

I’m done now. I think.

The Apocalypse Ark will likely be released in Canada in late February. The U.S. release will likely be late March or early April. Because April is the cruellest month. I’m not sure about other countries — check your local book emporium. Those book monks know everything! 

But you don’t have to wait to pre-order it — you can give me your money now! In exchange for nothing but some vague promise that I’ve written a book. Sounds legit to me. Please send your life savings to:

Amazon.ca pre-order link

Amazon.com pre-order link

Amazon.co.uk pre-order link

Barnes and Noble pre-order link

Remember, what would Noah do?

It’s Moby Dick weekend!

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville is one of those books I’ve had a love-hate relationship with since I read it the first time, back in an American Lit university course. To be honest, I was baffled by the book after that initial encounter. If you’ve read it, I’m sure you’ll understand. If you haven’t read it, let’s just say it’s a work of eccentric genius.

Moby Dick has some of the most memorable scenes in literature for me, and I can see its influence everywhere — Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian leaps to mind first. Moby Dick is a thing of sublime beauty that tells a simple yet incredibly compelling story. It’s also a completely batshit crazy book that breaks all the rules of writing and publishing and veers into textual madness at times. It marked a trend for Melville’s later books, which faced an uneven reception to their literary experimentation — see the headline “Herman Melville Crazy,” for example.

I’ve read Moby Dick a number of times since that first encounter, and I’m not sure I understand it any better now. That’s kind of the point of the book, though — or one of its points, anyway. Ahab is consumed by his quest to master the whale, which remains throughout an incomprehensible force to him and the others. You have as much luck truly understanding the book as Ahab does of besting the white whale.

I do appreciate the beauty of the book, though, and its incredible imagery and masterful scene construction were much in my mind when writing my latest Cross book, The Apocalypse Ark (ah, here’s where we getting to things). I wanted to capture Moby Dick’s sense of something vast and mysterious lurking just under the surface of our world — I guess it will be up to readers to decide if I succeeded or not.

I was also inspired by Melville’s bravery and risk-taking in publishing what you could call an unusual text. Often, writers are influenced more by market trends and sales numbers — “Hey, maybe I should put a steampunk vampire romance in this book….” Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the chances other writers have taken, of the commitment they’ve had to their vision, before you can truly commit to your own crazy vision. And I do think the vision I had for The Apocalypse Ark was crazy — it’s batshit crazy in the same spirit as Moby Dick, although I would never make claims about being equal to that book in any other capacity. “Peter Roman: Crazy as Melville!”

Anyway, this is all a long-winded post about the fact that it’s Moby Dick weekend — where people gather to read and watch others read aloud the entirety of Moby Dick, in a marathon event that’s as mad as Ahab. Check out the livestream, read along in your own copy, or just retweet your favourite lines.

That should be enough to hold you until The Apocalypse Ark comes out and you can see what I’ve done with Moby Dick and Herman Melville in my own peculiar telling of the tale.

Image is from Paul Vermeersch’s postcard art collection, but I supplied the caption.

 

 

The Apocalypse Ark available for pre-order

 

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I see my third Cross book, The Apocalypse Ark, is now available for pre-order. I really need to finish the edits….

Here’s the official jacket copy:

In the third Cross book, the immortal angel killer Cross faces his most dangerous enemy yet: Noah. For ages Noah has sailed the seas, seeking out all of God’s mistakes and imprisoning them on his ark. Noah is not humanity’s saviour but is instead God’s jailer. But he has grown increasingly mad over the centuries, and now he is determined to end the world by raising the mysterious Sunken City. Only one person can stop him: Cross.

The Apocalypse Ark is an epic chase around the world and through history and myth as Cross races to stop Noah from finding the Sunken City. He’s joined by a few old friends, such as Alice from the Alice in Wonderland tales, and several new characters make memorable appearances as well: Captain Nemo and his crew of Atlanteans aboard the submarine the Nautilus; the sorcerous pirate Blackbeard, who has sworn revenge upon Cross; the devilish angel Sariel, whose sacred duty it is to protect God’s Bible; and the eerie and mysterious Ishmael, who may be the key to the world’s salvation—or its damnation. Cross must find a way to bring them all together to stop Noah or the world will drown in madness.

Order The Apocalypse Ark now at:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Chapters

Barnes and Noble

ChiZine

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

The third book in the Cross series, The Apocalypse Ark, has a cover. And I am rather fond of it.

Boy Eating

Feverish dreams

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I’ve been sick with a norovirus that swept through my household recently like, well, like a plague. I tried to avoid it by wearing a medical face mask and gloves while I tended to sick children and a spouse but eventually it claimed me. The unexpected bonus to lying in bed alternating between fever and chills and other such delights was that I had some crazy visions of new Cross adventures that would make awesome short stories. Very strange, very hallucinatory Cross short stories. So I’ve been working on those. I’ve written a story and a half so far, with notes for two other short stories. So there may be a Cross story collection at some point in the future.

Or maybe I’m still sick and just imagining all this writing stuff.

Alice, darkly

schizalice

A number of people have told me recently how much they love Alice from the Cross books. (For those who haven’t read The Mona Lisa Sacrifice or The Dead Hamlets yet, Alice is a real-life version of Alice in Wonderland who is perhaps Cross’s closest friend.) So I thought I’d share an image of Alice that is perhaps my favourite vision of her. It’s created by artist Stephen Rothwell (image via Boing Boing) and I think it sums up some of the ways I also see Alice, at least in terms of its dark beauty and conflicting elements.

If you like the eerie nature of this, then I think you may like the next few Cross books.

Where do the monsters come from?

Earlier today a reader asked me how I choose which monsters to include in my Cross books. It’s a good question, and I don’t think I’ve been asked that before. So I thought I’d answer it here.

First off, I had to decide whether I was going to include monsters at all. When I first dreamed up the character of Cross, I was obviously thinking of Christian mythology, so it was a natural to include angels and the like in the books. In fact, the first book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, kind of began with my idea to have Cross hunting and killing an angel at the Gaudi church in Barcelona.

But the Cross books obviously have a lot more than angels running around in their world. You can blame Alice for that. I’d been thinking about the character of Alice for years — a supernatural, eerie real-life Alice in Wonderland who lives outside of the Lewis Carroll books. I’d originally been considering writing a book about a professor with magical powers who was friends with Alice, but that book never happened. When I started thinking about Cross, however, I immediately knew Alice had to be his friend.

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The world will drown in cut scenes

Whenever I finish a draft of a new book, I generally want nothing to do with it for a while. When you spend months immersed in a world, sometimes you want to go holiday somewhere else. I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing since I handed in the manuscript for the third Cross book, The Apocalypse Ark. I’ve done a bit of work on another project, but I can’t really talk about that yet, so never mind.

While I’ve been waiting for the edits to The Apocalypse Ark, though, I’ve still been thinking about Cross and his crazy friends. I’ve been making some notes for the fourth book, and I think I know how it’s going to take shape. (I’ve known what it’s going to be about for a while, but knowing that and knowing how you’re going to write it are two different things.) I’ve also written a Cross short story, which is a first for that series.

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The Mona Lisa Sacrifice is an Amazon Top 100 bestseller!

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I woke up this morning to discover my first Cross book, The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, had become an Amazon.ca Top 100 bestseller overnight — in both the Kindle and the overall Books category. The book is doing better now than when it first came out two years ago! Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read it and recommend it. #thingsIamgratefulfor

I don’t think I’ve made that much from sales yet….

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Hey, there are cheaper versions of my first Cross book available, you know….